AdWords Ad Rotation and Frequency Capping

Under your Google AdWords campaign settings you will see an option near the bottom for
Ad delivery: Ad rotation and frequency capping.

AdWords Ad Rotation and Frequency Capping

Ad Rotation,Frequency Capping

Ad rotation comes into play when you have multiple ads in a single ad group. Having multiple ads allows you to test your ads against each other to see which ad performs better. I usually recommend that you have at least 3 different ads eligible to show for each ad group and your ad rotation settings allows you to determine how your ads will rotate.

When you click edit next to the ad rotation settings you will be given the following options,

Ad Rotation Settings

Ad Rotation Options

You can optimize for clicks, which will show the ad, which based on historical data, is most likely to generate a click.

You can optimize for conversions. If you have been using conversion tracking, this will show the ad that is most likely to lead to a conversion.

You can rotate your ads evenly which will allow Google to show each ad roughly the same number of times over a 90 period and then show the ad most likely to get clicks after that.

Or you can choose to rotate your ads indefinitely.  If you select this option you will need to manually optimize your ads once you have enough data to determine which ads are performing best for your business.

I suggest starting off with the first option, optimize for clicks but if you have been using conversion tracking, then you should definitely optimize for conversions.

Understand that ad rotation only pertains to ads within the same ad group. The idea of multiple ads in the same ad group is to determine which ad performs best when triggered by certain keywords. You do not want to have multiple ad groups competing with each other. So DO NOT use the same keyword in 2 or more ad groups that are targeting the same geographic area. This will put you in a position where you will be bidding against yourself and only 1 of your ads can show for any given search.

The next ad delivery setting is frequency capping. Frequency capping is the number of times your ad can show to 1 unique person in a given time period. Frequency capping is only available on Display Network ads.

When you click edit next to frequency capping you will see the following options.

Frequency Settings

AdWords Frequency Capping Settings

These options are very straight forward. You can either set no cap on impressions, or you can set a cap on the number impressions per day, week, or month. You can also set the cap by ad, ad group, or campaign.

The idea behind capping the number of times a person will see your ad, is that you may be concerned that if a person sees your ad too often they may become “immune” to your ad and stop ever really seeing it. I personally, have never set a cap on impressions. I normally use the Display Network for branding purposes and so capping impressions is not really necessary for me but it is a feature you should be aware of.

One more note regarding capping impressions. If you have been using the Display Network, you have probably realized the CTR in the Display Network is usually very low. CTR is very important in the Search Network because of its impact on quality score. Quality score does not play a role in the Display Network so do not let that influence your decision on whether or not to use impression capping. Also bidding by impressions is an option in the Display Network and this would be a good reason to consider capping impression per unique individual.

If you need any further help or have questions about ad rotation or frequency capping you can contact me through the AdWords Services page.